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Operator Overloading in C++

  • In programming, operator overloading, sometimes termed operator ad hoc polymorphism, is a specific case of polymorphism, where different operators have different implementations depending on their arguments.
  • Operator overloading is generally defined by a programming language, a programmer, or both.
  • This feature in C++ programming that allows programmer to redefine the meaning of an operator (when they operate on class objects) is known as operator overloading.
  • learn c++ tutorials - operator overloading

    learn c++ tutorials - operator overloading in c++ Example

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Why is operator overloading used?

  • You can write any C++ program without the knowledge of operator overloading. However, operator operating is profoundly used by programmers to make program intuitive. For example,
  • You can replace the code like:
calculation = add(multiply(a, b),divide(a, b));
    To
calculation = (a*b)+(a/b);
learn c++ tutorials - operator overloading

learn c++ tutorials - operator overloading in c++ Example

How to overload operators in C++ programming?

  • To overload an operator, a special operator function is defined inside the class as:
class className
{
    ... .. ...
    public
       returnType operator symbol (arguments)
       {
           ... .. ...
       } 
    ... .. ...
};
  • Here, returnType is the return type of the function.
  • The returnType of the function is followed by operator keyword.
  • Symbol is the operator symbol you want to overload. Like: +, <, -, ++
  • You can pass arguments to the operator function in similar way as functions.

Example: Operator overloading in C++ Programming

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

class Test
{
   private:
      int count;

   public:
       Test(): count(5){}

       void operator ++() 
       { 
          count = count+1; 
       }
       void Display() { cout<<"Count: "<<count; }
};

int main()
{
    Test t;
    // this calls "function void operator ++()" function
    ++t;    
    t.Display();
    return 0;
}

Output

Count: 6
  • This function is called when ++ operator operates on the object of Test class (object t in this case).
  • In the program,void operator ++ () operator function is defined (inside Test class).
  • This function increments the value of count by 1 for t object.
learn c++ tutorials - operator overloading

learn c++ tutorials - operator overloading in c++ Example


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